Windhoek – On World Press Freedom Day, I want to voice my support for the principle of press freedom, as well as my support for the journalists and media professionals who use that freedom to improve our societies.
Freedom of the press is a foundational principle of democratic countries, like Namibia and the United States. It has been a cornerstone of U.S. democracy and our way of life since it was enshrined in our Bill of Rights.
Thirty years ago, here in Namibia, the Windhoek Declaration was adopted as an affirmation of press freedom. Namibia, again this year, is ranked by the World Press Freedom Index as a global leader and as the country with the freest media in Africa. Congratulations!
Press Freedom is not only a democratic principle, it is also a commitment. It is a commitment by governments, like those of Namibia and United States, to enable journalists to do their jobs and to do them in safety. And it is a commitment by journalists and media professionals to use “Information as a public good,” the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day.
I’d like to extend my thanks to the journalists and media community in Namibia. You are at the forefront, and I have appreciated your professionalism and commitment when working with you as U.S. Ambassador.
I want to offer my encouragement to everyone standing in support of World Press Freedom today, and every day.
AUDIO: (To download select “More” then “Download”.) https://soundcloud.com/usembnamibia/statement-by-us-ambassador-lisa-johnson-in-support-of-world-press-freedom-day/s-zCiHZgeO6k9